With the fall season rapidly approaching, prudent homeowners will be preparing their homes for the cooler temperatures and wetter weather to come. This winter preparation often includes an inspection of one major home element: the roof. Your home’s roof should be durable, weathertight, and aesthetically pleasing.
Perhaps now is the time to consider making the switch from traditional roofing materials like asphalt or slate shingles to a metal roof. This blog will outline material options for metal roofs, the benefits that can be realized after making the switch, and why Tilghman Builders recommends metal roofs more often than not for both commercial and residential structures.
4 Types of Metal Roofing Materials
Metal roofs come in either panels or shingles, and are usually found in four metal types: stainless steel, red metals (such as brass, copper, and bronze), aluminum, and galvanized steel. Knowing this information is an important first step, as the recommended type of metal will vary depending on your area's most common weather conditions, style preferences, and budget.
Galvanized steel is a combination of three metals: aluminum, zinc, and steel with a zinc coating over the metal to protect it from rain and ultraviolet rays. This steel is one of the most economical metal roofing materials available, and maybe the best choice if you are looking for a deal. However, while galvanized steel is generally more affordable, it’s not the best metal choice if you are more concerned about style than savings, and has a much shorter life than the three other metals.
Just a step above galvanized steel is aluminum. The best feature about aluminum is that it doesn’t rust, as it creates its own protective coat through a process called self-passivation. As the aluminum is exposed to the air it oxidizes, which creates a protective coating around the metal. One of the downsides of aluminum is that it isn’t a flashy material, and if painted will fade quite a bit within the first few years. So if functional affordability is at the top of your list, aluminum is the choice for you.
For those of you who dress to impress and expect the same from the exterior of your home, red metals like brass, copper, and bronze will definitely catch the eye. In addition to being visually pleasing and offering a “stately” look, these metals are durable, highly corrosion resistant, and have a longer lifespan than the other metals mentioned. Of course, these benefits come with a higher price tag, easily costing double or triple that of stainless steel.
Even though stainless steel can rust, it does so at a far slower rate than galvanized steel or aluminum. There are over 150 types of stainless steel, but the most common for exterior use are grades 304, 316, and 430. Each one of these grades has a different measure of alloy metals, which affects durability and cost. Grade 304 is the most commonly used, but is also one of the most expensive stainless steel grades. Grade 316 is the metal of choice for marine locations, as it is incredibly resistant to corrosion caused by salt. Grade 430 is the least expensive of the grades as it is not as effective as the 304 or 316 grades, and is often used in mild exterior conditions, not roofs.
5 Benefits of Metal Roofs and Why We Recommend Them
Now that we’ve got the basic materials of metal roofs covered, let’s talk about the benefits and why the team at Tilghman Builders recommends them.
- Insurance: Many homeowner insurance policies offer reduced premiums and deductibles to customers with metal roofs. This is especially true if you happen to live in an area where wildfires are a concern, or in hail-prone locations.
- Energy Efficiency: Metal is considered one of the most energy-efficient roofing materials available. Studies have shown that metal roofs can save homeowners as much as 40% in energy costs. An added bonus for those homeowners who live in snowy climates is that the metal conducts heat quickly from the sun, causing snow to slide off the roof more quickly than it would with other roofing materials.
- Sustainability: Your metal roof will last longer than other traditional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, which means it won’t need to be replaced as frequently. And when it does, unlike other materials, metal roofing materials are readily accepted at metal recycling centers.
- Less Likely to Leak: Metal roofs are less susceptible to leaking than other types of shingle material if they are installed correctly. Metal roofs also tend to offer better warranty conditions - although make sure you have warranty coverage on the installation, the material itself, and the finish.
- Wind Resistance: Metal roofs resist wind damage better than other roofing material choices.
If properly installed and maintained, a metal roof will outlast other materials and provide superior benefits for decades to come. Tilghman Builders has served homeowners like you in Bucks County and Montgomery County for more than 40 years, specializing in home additions and renovations.
If you’re considering a new roof, contact us for a consultation. We look forward to creating a space you’ll love.